Mon.-Thurs. 11am-10pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-11pm, Sun. 11am-10pm
By Marc Piperno
For over 25 years Taormina Ristorante has proven time and time again that tradition in Italian cooking is a good thing. Owners and brothers Peter and Joe Maccarrone of Taormina Ristorante pay tribute to their homeland by bringing their Italian roots to 34 Veterans Highway in Commack.
Upon entering, you can’t help but to take note of Taormina’s contemporary décor. Brick ovens put out the most mouth-watering pizza pies, that are irrestible! “Our pies are not show alone. They are made with the best and freshest ingredients. In fact, many of our customers have underestimated how tasty our pizzas really are,” says Peter Maccarrone. For one, try their Margherita Pizza; prepared with a light amount of cheese, plumb tomato, garlic and basil on a crispy thin crust.
Joe Maccarrone takes care of preparing all of the Taormina’s sumptuous Italian Specialties, while brother Peter works the front end of the restaurant, ensuring that every customer leaves with a smile. I like when the owner mingles with customers. It’s a telltale sign that these guys care about their patrons. A winning combination and meticulous attention to detail keeps their customers loyal, with many new ones coming in every single week. Peter and Joe also believe in healthy cooking. Everything is prepared fresh and cooked to order. If it takes a few minutes longer for your meal, you’ll know why.
A popular appetizer and a must try is the “Stuffed Portobello Mushroom.” Big enough to share, stuffed with sausage, roasted peppers, and broccoli rabe, then topped with mozzarella cheese. For me, Taormina’s Fried Calamari with hot cherry peppers (Arrabbiata style) is what I crave: Tender coated morsels of fried calamari mixed with the peppers in a marinara sauce. Hot, spicy, delicate, amazing.
By the way, should you have a special request not found on the menu, just ask. The staff at Taormina Ristorante is more than willing to please. For an entrée, ask for the Shrimp Oreganata, laid over a bed of spinach. Succulent shrimp is served in a scampi sauce with seasoned breadcrumbs. Don’t forget to ask for a side of spaghetti in the same scampi sauce. For the hearty appetite, try the “Chicken Taormina,” chicken breast fried, then stuffed with fresh prosciutto, mozzarella, topped with roasted peppers and mushrooms in a light brown sauce. It’s a huge portion, and a popular favorite. Taormina’s menu is vast, boasting a large selection of veal chops, aged steaks and the freshest seafood too!
For the finale, we chose from what appeared to be at least a dozen desserts. The Chocolate Mousse Cake with white chocolate shavings was incredible. Ask for fresh cannoli’s too and request to get yours “overstuff”. You’ll thank me. Bravissimo Taormina Ristorante. For reservations and information call 631-499-6900.